Poorly Hartlepool boy meets top jockey

Isaac Atyeo with his family and Grand National jockey, Derek Fox.
Isaac Atyeo with his family and Grand National jockey, Derek Fox.

A plucky Hartlepool youngster was riding high with a VIP day at the races.

Isaac Atyeo, 12, was one of a group of seriously ill children who took part in the special event at Carlisle Racecourse, where he got to meet Grand National winning jockey, Derek Fox.

Isaac doesn’t let anything get him down

Pam Turnedge

The day was organised as part of a charity partnership between The Jockey Club and the Barrie Wells Trust.

Isaac, who lives in Masefield Road, has an auto immune deficiency which leaves him suffering from several allergies and asthma.

Despite being due to undergo surgery later this month, the High Tunstall College student was determined to take part in the event with his gran, Pam Turnedge.

Pam said: “Isaac doesn’t let anything get him down. Despite all the setbacks and hospital visits, he’s always a joker.

“Neither he nor his mum ever gets a night’s sleep. And he’s got to have some fairly major surgery on his legs, so it’s really nice that we’ve been able to come and enjoy the racing – his face lit up when the jockey came in.”

For most of the young visitors at Carlisle it was their first chance to see live racing, get close to the horses in the paddock, try on some racing silks and meet top jockey Derek.

Grand National winner Derek said: “It was an absolute privilege to meet the children.

“They all seemed to be on great form and enjoying the day. It was a really nice thing to be part of.”

Geraldine McKay, Carlisle Racecourse’s General Manager, said: “Children and their families love coming to the racecourse and getting up close to the horses and the action.”